Preliminary Scientific Program


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Invited Speakers


Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

Nobel Laureate

Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology,
Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford (USA)

Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)

I’m a veterinarian and I have been working with laboratory animals since my PhD in zoonoses control (2010, University of Bologna). Afterwards I moved into Lab Animal Science, working with different species: mice, rats, fish (zebrafish and Nothobranchius furzerii), Xenopus, sheep, rabbits and cephalopods. I have managed animal facilities in Italy (CIBIO, University of Trento) and Czech Republic (FNUSA-ICRC, Brno). Currently, I’m the Facility Manager and Animal Care and Welfare Officer (ACWO) at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). I’m a Board member of the European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians (ESLAV).

VIB Center for Brain and Disease Research, Leuven (Belgium);
Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge (UK)

Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Department of Onco-haematology, Cell and Gene Therapy – IRCCS, Roma (Italy)


Stanford University

Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Monje is recognized as an international leader in the pathophysiology of glioma, especially diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)/H3K27M-mutated diffuse midline gliomas and is a pioneer in the emerging field of Cancer Neuroscience. Her clinical focus is on childhood glial malignancies and cognitive impairment after childhood cancer therapy. Her laboratory studies neuron-glial interactions in health and disease, with a particular focus on mechanisms and consequences of neuron-glial interactions in health, glial dysfunction in cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment and neuron-glial interactions in malignant glioma. Together with these basic studies, her research program has advanced preclinical studies of novel therapeutics for pediatric high-grade gliomas and cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment in order to translate new therapies to the clinic. She has led several of her discoveries from basic molecular work to clinical trials for children and young adults with brain tumors.

Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)

I obtained a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and a Phd in Cellular and Molecular Pathology and Biology. In 10 years of research activity at the University of Verona (Italy) I investigated the molecular mechanisms controlling leukocyte trafficking in the central nervous system during neuroinflammatory diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, epilepsy and Alzheimer disease.
I also studied the immuno-modulatory properties of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) and ASC-derived nanovescicles in neurological diseases. I recently moved to the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) to develop a research project investigating the metabolic regulation of adaptive immune responses.

San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Italy)

Barbara Bettegazzi, 35 years old, married. I am currently working as a post doctoral researcher in Professor Grohovaz’s laboratory at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, where I obtained my PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2012. During my PhD I worked mainly on Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis, studying the mechanisms regulating the expression and activity of BACE1, the main β-secretase of the brain. During my PhD I spent two years in Munich, in the laboratory of C. Haass, a pioneer in the Alzheimer’s disease field and our collaboration is still ongoing. More recently I shifted my research focus on studying whether alterations in the control of protein synthesis could contribute to the development of complex diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Neuroscience Institute «Cavalieri Ottolenghi», Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Turin (Italy)

Enrica Boda, 36 years old, married. Enrica is a neurobiologist sand has just got a position as Assistant Professor in tenure track (RTD-B) in Human Anatomy at the University of Turin. She’s now working in the research group of  “Physiopathology of neural stem cells” at the Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri Ottolenghi Foundation (NICO, Orbassano, Turin). Her studies are focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating the self-renewal and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (oligodendrocyte progenitors andneural stem cells) in health and disease, with a special focus on de-/dis-myelinating diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and neurodevelopmental disorders.

University of Catania (Italy)

I’m Giovanna Calabrese, I have a PhD in Medical Embryology, Pathology and Experimental Hematology. Currently, I’m a post-doc at the University of Catania, Dept. of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences. My main research topic is regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applied to both neural and osteo/chondral regeneration. Specifically, I’m studying the repairing capabilities of the combination between mesenchymal stem cells and 3D biomimetic materials, both in vitroand in animal models.

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